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  MEMORIAM DELIVER THE GOODS WITH THEIR DEBUT FULL LENGTH
5th March 2017

jools green
Jools Green



memoriam

With a line-up that consists of former members of Bolt Thrower and Benediction, namely Frank Healy on bass, Andrew Whale on drums, Scott Fairfax on guitars and of course Karl Willetts on vocals, my deepest fear was that Memoriam, formed partly by way of a tribute to late Bolt Thrower drummer Martin Kearns, couldn't possibly live up to my expectations, but these four legends of British Death Metal have exceeded those expectations with their debut full length, 'For The Fallen'.

Obviously there are notable elements of both Bolt Thrower and Benediction lurking within, making it familiar enough for old fans of these bands to relate to, but at the same time this is a whole new beast entirely. And so now begins a new chapter.

You still get the war themes that dominated the Bolt Thrower albums, its devastation and futility, but let's face it, sadly there's always plenty, past and present, of that to fuel that fire of inspiration.

The eight track offering opens with 'Memoriam', a track that is crushingly powerful both musically and lyrically, with next up 'War Rages On' ploughing through with a fabulously heavy groove to its construct.

memoriam

'Reduced To Zero' has heavy chunky riffs, a crushing groove and precisely delivered vocals bound together with swathes of haunting lead work, then in complete contrast 'Corrupted System' is an up-tempo number with punk edged riffing balanced against chunks of dirty groove.

At times crushingly heavy, 'Flatline', with its haunting repeat riffs and chunky groove was another track which touched me with its moving lyrical content while 'Surrounded (By Death)' is packed with guitar squeals and chugging riffs and I love the compact mid-point thrashy shred that heralds a brief tempo rise and it gets even better with next track, 'Resistance', because the sinister dirty riffing that makes up the first half gives no indication of what's in store.

Midway the drum work builds rapidly to herald a huge squealing shred that really takes you pleasantly by surprise; excellent stuff.

The album remains powerful to the end with the eight minute 'Epitaph', the heavy yet reflective 'Last Words' with its strong Bolt Thrower opening echo, a track which drops off to a reflective outro for the final two minutes.

'For The Fallen' is a superb album, a well varied, well delivered offering by seasoned musicians who know their craft well. It's a prime example of UK Death Metal at its finest and is out now on Nuclear Blast.





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